Friday, January 22, 2016

FRIDAY - stalking the planetary alignment

- First-Time Buyers: How Much Down Payment Do You Really Need These Days?
- Housing Affordability Constrains
- The 3 things that will kill your real estate deal
- Bay Area rents: up another 10 percent in 2015
- Home Remodeling Activity Looking to Gain Steam
- 10 Popular Design Trends to Carry Into the New Year


First-Time Buyers: How Much Down Payment Do You Really Need These Days? - Saving enough money for a 20 percent down payment can be daunting task, but the good news is that buyers can often qualify for a mortgage with a lower down payment. Marietta Rodriguez, vice president of national homeownership programs and lending for NeighborWorks America, commented, “The narrative that in order to buy a house in America today you need 20 percent down is just not true. There are a lot of different products that offer low down payment options.” That being said, if you pay less upfront, your mortgage balance is higher, and if you don't make a minimum down payment of 20 percent, you will usually be required to pay private mortgage insurance. Potential home buyers should talk to their REALTOR® for advice on pursuing homeownership.

Housing Affordability Constrains - Further labor market tightening is expected to lead to increased household income and job security amid more relaxed lending standards and easier access to mortgage credit, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group’s January 2016 Economic and Housing Outlook.

However, strong home price gains, especially in the lower-end of the market, continue to outpace household income growth, eroding affordability. Consumer spending is expected to underpin economic growth again this year, while residential investment and government spending should help drive growth despite some drag from net exports.

The 3 things that will kill your real estate deal - New research pinpoints the biggest causes of home real estate delays and contract terminations. In an internal survey of 2,643 realty agents conducted last month, it was found that 32 percent — nearly one-third — of all transactions encountered delays of some sort. The biggest three deterrents were buyer financing setbacks, home inspection issues, and appraisals that diverge from the agreed-upon contract price. According to the study, of the 32 percent that experienced delays, 46 percent were triggered by “financing issues,” which is up from 40 percent during the first half of 2015. Appraisal-related problems caused 21 percent of the delays and home-inspection issues in 14 percent.

Bay Area rents: up another 10 percent in 2015 - In San Jose, the average monthly price for an apartment rose to $2,436 -- a 9.4 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2014. In Oakland, the rise was even steeper: up 13.7 percent to $2,806.

Home Remodeling Activity Looking to Gain Steam - Expenditures for home improvements should see healthy gains in 2016, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Annual spending growth for home improvements is projected to accelerate from 4.3 percent in the first quarter of 2016 to 7.6 percent in the third quarter. By then, the level of annual spending in nominal terms is anticipated to surpass the previous peak set in 2006. Thanks to the continued recovery in the owner-occupied housing market, 2016 is looking to be a stronger year for home renovation activity compared to 2015.

10 Popular Design Trends to Carry Into the New Year - A designer shares the looks that are likely to stay in style in 2016 and beyond. Some of my favorites:

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